Former county treasurer pleads guilty to charging homeowners high interest rates

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on February 5, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 6 at 11:16 AM

MADISON COUNTY, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- A former Madison County treasurer has pled guilty to an elaborate tax scheme. where those who were having a hard time paying and were required to pay extremely high interest rates.

Madison County officials called the behavior of 58-year old Fred Bathon unethical and unacceptable.

To discourage this type of thing from happening again, the County treasurer said the state has recently passed a law that requires the video taping of tax sales.

Kurt Prenzler, Madison County treasurer, also said he enacted a policy of using automatic software to ensure there is a level playing field.

Citizens were paying the maximum penalty interest rate of 18 percent instead of the actual 4 percent if the tax sales are run ethically.

Prenzler said Banthon will lose his state pension which he said is a little more than $70,000 a year.

Prenzler said for homeowners looking to recoup their money would likely have to be settled in a civil suit.

 

 

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